Criticism and Evaluation

The Effective Communication Class at Greystone Preparatory School consists of three specific components:

  1. Planned, prepared and presented speeches
  2. Profound thinking extemporaneous comments
  3. Evaluation and feedback, commonly called Criticism

All of our students are leaders and high-performance candidates for the military service academies. The following is a portion of my lecture and class presentation on Becoming the Best You.

“Worthwhile leaders with vision can count on receiving criticism. It is a hazard in most occupations and professions.  Criticism can be constructive and positive; it can also be negative and destructive. Intense critical comments have caused many leaders to throw in the towel, give up and quit. I am reminded of the remarks of Theodore Roosevelt when speaking about this subject,

“it is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena – – – – – far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat”.

Leaders must have a sense of humor and the ability to receive criticism.  Additionally, the leader must be able to filter any criticism from fact or fiction. Criticism is best handled by holding on to your wits; responding instead of reacting; asking questions; listening more and talking less; do not be emotional, keep your voice lower and your inflection slower; consider the source; refuse to be discouraged and keep marching toward your goal, vision and mission.

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